US President Donald Trump’s political interference in the scientific and ethical process underwriting the quest for a Covid-19 vaccine — on stunning display on a chaotic Wednesday — is deepening the damage of his disastrous pandemic response.

In a breathtaking spell of propagandizing, a President who has no medical expertise and has incessantly downplayed the emergency, bulldozed into the White House Briefing Room to kneecap one of the nation’s top health officials, Dr. Robert Redfield. The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had told lawmakers it could be fall 2021 before there are sufficient vaccine stocks to allow normal life to resume. He also said masks work.

“I think he got the message maybe confused,” the President said of the vaccine comments and added that Redfield “didn’t understand the question” on masks — even though the doctor’s answers had been clearly considered and carefully worded.

The President’s undercutting of Redfield came in a week in which he has repeatedly rejected the best advice of health authorities, including by holding an indoor campaign rally. He’s also challenged the science of global warming as historic fires rage in Western states. But he’s not the only top government official chafing at pandemic-induced restrictions that are designed to keep people safe from a highly infectious pathogen.

In an extraordinary statement on Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr lashed out at state governors using executive powers to impose restrictions that keep businesses closed in an effort to save lives and slow the spread of the virus.

“You know, putting a national lockdown, stay at home orders, is like house arrest. Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history,” Barr said during an appearance hosted by Hillsdale College, a private, conservative school in Michigan.

Source : CNN


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